Devon Sproule

Off Your Radar readers might remember I nominated Devon Sproule’s I Love You, Go Easy album for issue #38. There are a bunch of reasons I’m crazy about that album, but here’s one I zoomed in on in my OYR blurb:

Lyrics that are this meticulously constructed shouldn’t flow so naturally, but here, they drift along on the gentle tide of Sproule’s prosaic gift.

I learned just this week that Sproule put out a new album earlier this year called The Gold String, and it’s lovely in all the ways I Love You, Go Easy is, especially when it comes to the way the lyrics flow. In fact, she touches on a similar idea in the title track when she imagines an endless strand that connects everyone and everything. Her description of it is nothing short of elegant, in large part because form and theme are one; she describes this inspiring connectedness using verses that lead into one another and this amazing rolling rhyme scheme that weaves together phrases in ear-pleasing clusters. Her words become the string she’s singing about. It’s really incredible.

If you ask 10 people about how the universe is connected, you’re likely to get 10 fairly different answers, but my answer would probably involve language — maybe not words themselves, but the desire to be understood and to understand. The space between your brain and someone else’s isn’t just space if you’re filling it with communication. It really is a way to make something from nothing. I’m drifting a bit myself here, so I’ll close by saying that for fans of language, Sproule’s writing is a gift, and I’d recommend The Gold String in the strongest terms.

Devon Sproule — “The Gold String” [Spotify/iTunes]

4 thoughts on “Devon Sproule

  1. This is really lovely. I remember listening to Devon Sproule when I was at UVA back in the early 2000s. I think I’ve got one of her early albums somewhere. I know I have “Farewell, Seasick Suffering!” on my phone on a mellow/lyrical playlist, you may want to check that one out if you haven’t.

    Now for me to go check out the rest of The Gold String!

    • I love that you were listening to her back in the day! Makes me even more psyched to check out her earlier stuff. (I’ve only spent time with the 2 albums I mentioned in the post, but I see there are 5 others on Spotify!) Hope you dig the new one!

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